WASHINGTON (June 23, 2014) — The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) applauds Florida Gov. Rick Scott for signing into law legislation aimed at preventing road accidents and fatalities involving waste and recycling workers and vehicles caused by careless drivers.

House Bill 7005, an omnibus transportation bill sponsored by Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) and signed Friday by Gov. Scott, includes a section that added sanitation and utility vehicles to the “Move Over Act.”

Currently in Florida, when any vehicle approaches an emergency vehicle or tow truck, it must move over one lane. In instances where changing lanes is unsafe or the driver is traveling on a two-lane road, the driver must slow to a speed 20 miles per hour (mph) less than the posted speed limit, unless the posted limit is 20 mph or less. In that case, the driver is required to slow to a speed of 5 mph. This law adds sanitation and utility vehicles to those covered under the act.

“On behalf of the Florida Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association, I want to thank the Florida Legislature for adding sanitation vehicles to the Move Over Act,” said Chuck Dees, Florida Chapter chair and vice president of public affairs for Waste Management of Florida. “We especially want to recognize Rep. Holly Raschein (R- Key Largo), whose original language was incorporated into the final version of H.B. 7005. It was Rep. Raschein’s commitment to include sanitation and utility workers in the Move Over Act and the leadership of Rep. Daniel Davis (R-Jacksonville), chair of the House Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee, which allowed this legislation to pass this session.”

Being struck by motorists is a leading cause of death for waste and recycling collection employees nationwide and, with proper awareness, is completely preventable. NW&RA has worked to pass similar “Slow Down to Get Around” legislation in other states. In addition to Florida, NW&RA chapters have successfully championed such legislation in Alabama, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Michigan has passed a similar law. “Slow Down to Get Around” is the industry’s safety campaign reminding motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles.

NW&RA President and CEO Sharon Kneiss congratulated the Florida Chapter for its success passing this bill. “The Association would like to see similar laws enacted in all states,” she said. “We need to protect the hard-working men and women who provide vital services collecting America’s trash and recycling.”